Kind of hard to believe I'm in the last week. Time goes so fast- it's unbelievable. When I grew up in Alaska, the seasons didn't change much- nine months of snow made time "freeze", if you don't mind the pun. I thought I'd be twelve for the rest of my life. But then I moved down south and we have four seasons now and life has zipped by me. And the day pretty much zipped by as well. Which was ok by me, considering the air conditioning wasn't exactly working. I came to have a deep appreciation of my deodorant.
Kids had their celebration today, two hours of autograph signing, while I got to "work" in my room. Of course, I did next to zero. I did get to meet with Best Ever Kristine and find out what sorts of goodies she was leaving for me in my new room. I am nearly frothing at the mouth for the great big closet and wooden writing center. Hip hip hooray!
Of course, it was time for recess at the point the celebration was over- and then lunch, so there goes another hour. Half point of the day, give kids their last number sense assessment. This is the last piece I need for my PGP plan. Got the whole thing written up, folks- just need to have the data. So there, I did DO something.
And then it was time for Market Day crafting. The kids had two hours to make their "wares". I put out EVERYTHING I had. Except glitter and paint. I admit to just not wanting to DEAL with glitter and paint. But you know, it was sort of hard. I had almost gotten to the point where I felt like giving them the ribbons was WRONG. Why do we do that? Or is it just me? We buy it, for the use of crafts, but then the idea that they might actually use it all up frightens us. Or me. Maybe it is just me. The woman with the inner hoarder. Anyhow- I was able to take my claws off the items and go work on packing. Which was it's own nightmare for me. I will take pictures of their stuff and post them tomorrow- but I will tell you, I had at least three boys make basically nothing. (And they are just going to have to live with not making any money on market day. I said two hours only and I am sticking to it. My determination is fueled by Fabulous Karen today, who was the epitome of standing her ground. It was inspiring.) And, kittens, I had kids who - dare I say it- made nothing worth buying. And lots of it. But, and here's the good part, I had at least two who wowed me. I am so stinking proud of Azarrio, he made the most adorable roller skates. His store was a skating rink, and he cut shoe shapes out of construction paper, and found some ribbon with little bobbles hanging off and cut it so exactly FOUR trimmed the bottom of each shoe. They are AWESOME. I will make myself be sure to buy one of his skates so I can keep it as an excellent example for next year. And Abby- the dear thing- she had a nail salon, made fancy nail polish "bottles" out of air dry clay and decorated the outside with shaped felt. I am also going to be sure to get one of those. There were other cuties, but those were the two stand outs today. Perhaps on closer inspection tomorrow I will be impressed some more.
I talked over this crafting experience with my mother today. Mom always had my sister and I making crafts when we were younger. We cut, pasted, created, sewed, baked, the whole shebang. But I find now, as every year goes by, that I find less and less people my age who had similar experiences, and my students definitely DON'T. I really want to try to address this next year. Do I have them time? Is it worth the investment? Should I set better priorities? But it seems a shame to leave them out there unable to CREATE. Isn't it a tragedy to be eight and not have a steady glue hand? To not know to cut at the EDGE of the paper (for Pete's sake) instead of right in the middle? In this conversation with Mom though, we got around to the discussion of do these kids have the NECESSARY MATERIALS there at home to craft with? And I'm pretty sure that's a no. So we brainstormed a bit. Aside from just teaching some crafting techniques next year (yep, sUUUUUper teacher year) each month slowly buy up different crafting materials from the Dollar Store, so at the end of the year, for their summer gift, I can give each of them an art tub to take home for the summer.
What would go in that gift? I'd need a basket or container of some sort. One with a lid would be best. Crayons. Fat markers and skinny markers. scissors and big sticks of glue. pack of construction paper. a ruler. tape. brass brads. pom poms. dazzles. ribbon. clay. colored chalk. fancy paper. fancy shape scissors(probably going to have to stalk Michael's for that) pipe cleaners. Pony beads. And I suppose, slowly print out random craft directions and put them together into a book to go in the box. Summery sorts of crafts, for both boys and girls. If I only use the list I have right here, that's 20 bucks a kid... of course, spread that over nine months...at least 2 bucks per kid per month, and let's round up to $3 to be safe. If I have a class of twenty kids, that's sixty bucks a month. Maybe that's just crazy. Maybe I need to have a car wash or something to raise the money. Yarp.
But looking directly at this econ unit- since it will be stretched over the entire year next year, I'm going to handle market day differently. I will do it once each quarter. Seems like a good celebration idea to me. But the first three quarters, I will spend teaching them SPECIFIC crafts and techniques, and they can chose from these techniques and crafts to make to sell for market day. I can make the items go along with the units we've studied that quarter. So, say it was the quarter we studied weather, well then they could make weather instruments, or cloud pictures, or tornado tubes, or snow globes and the like. It won't be until the final market day that they really create their own store product. Hopefully by then they'll have a good skill set to make some really interesting items.
So, tomorrow I must photocopy our Geovanni Town currency and begin to pass it out as I catch excellent behavior. I hope I can do a good job at this. I have a tendency to forget such things.
During the crafting, I was able to inventory all of my math manipulatives, and box them up. And box up all of the teacher supplies that stay with the room. I have three magnificent towers of boxes now at the front of the room. And yeah, I didn't get the book inventory finished, and I had cursed myself with the fingernail thing. If it satisfies anybody, I did break a couple of them today. And I attempted to start the inventory,a nd got two levels done, but then other things took over. So, I will have to make sure it gets done tomorrow. The procrastinator's creed.
I did manage to create an even bigger mess than when I started. It reminded me of when I was twelve. When I would "clean" my room, I would take out absolutely everything from everywhere and make a great big huge gigantic pile in the middle of my bed. And then pick at it piece by piece slowly putting it away. The overall idea was that I would force myself to organize everything so I could go to sleep. But, of course, I gave up mid way through the pile and would shove it in my closet or under the bed. There's got to be a class, or intervention, or just a pill to help me with this. Perhaps a general brain transplant. If I'm lucky tomorrow, I'll make another big dent in it. I'll start packing up what is MINE. Which of course, now that I think of it- I meant to ask my Dad for boxes, and he has gone to bed. I do manage to handicap myself regularly.